igus releases e-spool flex cable reel for industrial robots

The Robot Report
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The igus e-spool flex ensures safe reeling and unreeling of control panel cables for industrial robots. | Credit: igus

igus has developed the e-spool flex 2.0, a new cable reel designed for industrial robots that has no slip ring. This allows for management of robot teach pendants. The system even supplies bus signals without interruptions, which can be typical with slip rings.

The solution can extend cables up to 50 ft. Installation into a robot’s control center is simple with the included mounting hardware. The e-spool flex 2.0 is igus’ version of a cable drum without a slip ring. The cable is safely routed through a feed-through to ensure it is always properly wound. Cable diameters of 5-15 mm can be used.

The unit can be installed on the floor, ceiling, or wall and safely guides media power, data, or air in one system. The space-saving design includes a locking mechanism on the cable and is adaptable to technological developments by replacing the used cable.

Other features on the product include a snail mechanism that allows for uninterrupted cable connection and easy insertion of existing cable even when connectors are already attached. The system also has high-transmission reliability and various winding variants.

The e-spool flex 2.0 can be used whenever a cable must be moved freely during use and must be stowed away safely and cleanly after use.

Germany-based ARAGON Industrieelektronik GmbH’s breathes new life into old robots. The industrial robotics provider offers global solutions for repairing, maintaining, retrofitting, and tuning industrial robots. The company was looking for a practical cable solution specifically for use in control panels and turned to igus.

“We are always trying to ensure our customers’ safety with innovative solutions. Until now, the cable was always on the floor, which made it easy to damage or trip over. We went looking for a cable reel that had no interruptions and was quick and easy to retrofit,” said Iryna Geike, global country manager at ARAGON.

A critical advantage was the ability of the e-spool flex 2.0 to allow existing panel cables to be inserted into the system’s spiral guide and automatically rolled up.

“Our customers now receive a pre-assembled set consisting of the e-spool flex, ARAGON panel mount, cable, and a robot control cabinet mounting bracket for their control panels. The e-spool flex greatly extends the service life of the cable used and ensures more safety and order in the control panel,” Geike said.

igus offers the e-spool flex in several variants. One is a low-cost version with a manual turner or a cordless screwdriver to wind up the cable. Another is an automatic solution with a spring-driven return mechanism, a locking mechanism, and an optional retraction brake.

ARAGON decided on the variant with the retaining spring. The cable roller is available in three sizes for cables with diameters of 5 to 15 mm and extension lengths of 5 to 15 m.

Cables can be replaced quickly at any time. In addition to subsequent integration of the e-spool flex into an existing cable system, igus offers the cable reel solution fully harnessed with chainflex cables specifically designed for moving applications.

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Source: therobotreport

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